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BOOK LOOKS AT LIFE BEYOND REGGAE MUSIC!

 Heather Dennis. At right: A copy of Life Beyond Reggae Music.—

IT took Heather Dennis two years to compile stories for Life Beyond Reggae Music, her first book which was released early this year.

Through interviews with over 100 reggae artists, ‘from Jamaica to Japan’, she fashioned an easy read looking at reggae’s impact on their lives as well as the world.

She also reflects on the legacy of Granville Campbell, her great-grandfather and respected Jamaican classical singer who died in 1968.

“Life Beyond Reggae Music was created to showcase artists from around the world who have given so much to reggae and love Jamaica, educating fans and artists about the history of reggae and the meaning behind reggae,” Dennis, 38, told the Sunday Observer. “Also re-introducing to the world, Mr Granville Campbell, my great-great grandfather, the first classical singer of the 20th century from Jamaica, and first artist to put Jamaican on the map in music.”

Proceeds from the independently published book, which contains a compact disc with 24 songs, go to Give A Little-Get A Lot: Helping Those In Need, a charity run by Dennis’ LBRMUSIC Foundation that focuses on education, illness, elderly and the poor.

Some of the Jamaican artists Dennis interviewed, like singers Da’ville and Denyque, are well known. Others, including El Ganjoman (Rojas Hernandez) from Venezuela and Onesty out of Belgium, are trying to establish themselves.

Da'Ville

Da’Ville

Dennis said it was tough getting popular artists to participate.

“I tried to interview many big names for this book, but most of the problem I came across were managers not giving the artists the time to do the interview, or they felt as though, if they weren’t getting anything out of it, then it wasn’t worth their time,” Dennis explained. “Some artists only wanted to do this unless they where getting something. The purpose was to get artists to be a part of something greater than themselves.”

Dennis was born in Kingston and spent her early years in Duhaney Park. She moved with her family to the United Kingdom as a pre-teen, but has lived in the United States for most of her life.

Denyque

Denyque

Based in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Dennis is a medical case manager by profession.

She decided to write a book in 2013 after examining reggae’s global influence. Contacting artists through the Internet and publicists, she conducted the interviews which are found in Life Beyond Reggae Music.

Some of the acts are featured on its CD which also has a rendition of the Ave Maria by her great-grandfather.

–By Howard Campbell

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